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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 8:44 am
By Marcus Thompson II, CONTRA COSTA TIMES

OAKLAND - Joey Graham, a small forward out of Oklahoma State, is thrilled about being considered one of the top players of the senior class.


Projected as a mid-to-late first rounder, he is expected to be one of the first seniors taken in the June 28 NBA draft.


"I need to see (my name) keep going up," said Graham, who has also worked out for the New York Knicks. "This is exciting. I'm getting to go to places I've never been before. I've never been to Oakland."


Graham -- a superior athlete at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds -- said he would love to creep up high enough to be drafted by the Warriors in the No. 9 spot, which they are most likely to draw at the May 24 draft lottery. The Warriors got a good look at Graham on Thursday as he was one of four players to participate in the team's first workout of draft candidates.


Providence small forward Ryan Gomes, Kansas shooting guard Keith Langford and Southern Illinois point guard Darren Brooks also worked out at the Warriors downtown facility. Gomes is a bubble first-rounder who averaged 21.6 points and 8.2 rebounds. Sharp-shooting Langford and defensive-minded Brooks are potential second-round picks.


As it stands now, the Warriors have their first round selection and two second-round picks, one of which they obtained from New Jersey in the Clifford Robinson trade.


Barring a trade or an improbable leap to the top three, the Warriors will be using these picks to add depth to an already set roster. Among their list of needs are low-post offense, a reserve point guard, more athleticism and strong defenders. Considering the Warriors are over the cap, the draft is the most feasible way to add the pieces they need.


Players have until Saturday to declare for the June 28 draft. Draft candidates who have not signed an agent have until June 21 to withdraw. Teams can't work out non-seniors until the league releases its complete list of draft entrants on May 19.


Based on various projections, the likes of North Carolina point guard Raymond Felton, high school phenom Gerald Green, 7-foot Frenchmen Johan Petro, Pittsburgh power forward Chris Taft, Spanish power forward Fran Vazquez and Connecticut power forward Charlie Villanueva could be available when the Warriors choose.


Graham, who averaged 17.7 points on 52.9 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds for the Cowboys, is also in that mix. He certainly is all for getting to know Oakland better.


"No doubt," Graham said. "No doubt."

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